Random Thoughts

Mayor Belen’s legacy

By Leonardo Micua

IN keeping with her sacred covenant with the people of Dagupan who elected her as their mayor, Mayor Belen Fernandez served faithfully and well up to the last dying minute of her term.

She was still busy completing her projects up to the very end, and proved she truly valued the trust reposed in her. She did not abandon her people even for a moment, in faithful compliance with her mandate. 

She saw to it that Dagupeños were not short-changed with a mediocre performance and service expected of her. That could be the message she wanted to impart to her constituents today, that she never abandoned them even for a brief second.

Seldom will you find a public servant with such a commitment and dedication. a person who is not only a doer but a born workaholic. She is one who derives so much pleasure helping people even in the dead hour of the night, irrespective of whether one voted her or not in the last election. 

In her own post on social media, Belen assured Dagupenos that her heart is still open to them as always and can count on her for help even as a private citizen.  She vowed that she will still be very much around for whatever little thing she can do for them.

Dagupan is lucky it had as mayor for six years, and a vice mayor for another six years in the person of Belen who never ceased loving her people.

Before she finally bid city hall goodbye, she turned over 14 assault rifles to the Dagupan Police to boost their firepower in keeping the peace in Dagupan.

The very visible LED wall at the corner of Burgos Street and A.B. Fernandez Avenue West, is already functional for important announcements. Then she inaugurated the newly completed City Health Office’s extension centers in Bonuan Gueset on June 26 and in Pantal on June 27.  She also presided over the inauguration of the new CDRRMO office as well as the upgraded command center of PARMC in Poblacion Oeste.

Belen’s most important legacy to the next generations of Dagupenos is the Comprehensive Land Use Plan that replaced the antiquated 1978 version. 

She, too, will not be forgotten for shepherding Dagupan to become the most child-friendly independent component city nationwide in 2018 and for making Dagupan the champion in the Region 1 Athletic Association Meet twice in a row, in 2018 and 2019, a feat not achieved by any mayor in the past.    

There are many ongoing and a number still uncompleted projects which were started by her administration. Hopefully and with the grace of God, these will be completed by the next administration.

As a private citizen, she will likely go back as CEO of her family-owned CSI Group of Companies but with public service as her passion, it it is not likely that she will change her ways. She will surely take some rest and recreation that she deserves but I know she will soon be back to continue making a difference in the lives of Dagupenños.   

Belen is one who believes in the phrase akin to the one popularized by the late Ninoy: “Dagupenos are worth fighting for”. 

Will Belen stage a comeback in 2020?  Only God knows what’s His plan for her.  Mabuhay ka Belen! Dagupan will surely miss you and your patented UnliSerbisyo that I must say is hard to match.

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At the provincial board, an intriguing development happened when the new majority of eight board members took their oath before RTC Judge Laarni Parayno.

Left out in that oath-taking ceremony were four BMs in the minority bloc who are allied with incoming Vice Governor Mark Lambino: BMs Donabelle Fontelera (1st D.) Von Mark Mendoza (2nd D.), Vici Vantenilla (3rd D.) and Nicholi Sison (5th D.)

The four will not likely join the majority even if invited and will remain as fiscalizers. This will probably be the only time in the history of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that it has board members who will take the role of fiscalizers.      

Going back to the oath-taking of the eight board members, many wondered if the message of the majority was to draw the first blood. We will know very soon how effective the Magic 4 will be as fiscalizers.   

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